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Potential Hazard Due to Induced Radioactivity Secondary to Radiotherapy

Overview of attention for article published in Health Physics, November 2014
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (85th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (85th percentile)

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Potential Hazard Due to Induced Radioactivity Secondary to Radiotherapy
Published in
Health Physics, November 2014
DOI 10.1097/hp.0000000000000139
Pubmed ID

Bruce Thomadsen, Ravinder Nath, Fred B. Bateman, Jonathan Farr, Cal Glisson, Mohammad K. Islam, Terry LaFrance, Mary E. Moore, X. George Xu, Mark Yudelev


External-beam radiation therapy mostly uses high-energy photons (x-rays) produced by medical accelerators, but many facilities now use proton beams, and a few use fast-neutron beams. High-energy photons offer several advantages over lower-energy photons in terms of better dose distributions for deep-seated tumors, lower skin dose, less sensitivity to tissue heterogeneities, etc. However, for beams operating at or above 10 MV, some of the materials in the accelerator room and the radiotherapy patient become radioactive due primarily to photonuclear reactions and neutron capture, exposing therapy staff and patients to unwanted radiation dose. Some recent advances in radiotherapy technology require treatments using a higher number of monitor units and monitor-unit rates for the same delivered dose, and compared to the conventional treatment techniques and fractionation schemes, the activation dose to personnel can be substantially higher. Radiotherapy treatments with proton and neutron beams all result in activated materials in the treatment room. In this report, the authors review critically the published literature on radiation exposures from induced radioactivity in radiotherapy. They conclude that the additional exposure to the patient due to induced radioactivity is negligible compared to the overall radiation exposure as a part of the treatment. The additional exposure to the staff due to induced activity from photon beams is small at an estimated level of about 1 to 2 mSv y. This is well below the allowed occupational exposure limits. Therefore, the potential hazard to staff from induced radioactivity in the use of high-energy x-rays is considered to be low, and no specific actions are considered necessary or mandatory. However, in the spirit of the "As Low as Reasonably Achievable (ALARA)" program, some reasonable steps are recommended that can be taken to reduce this small exposure to an even lower level. The dose reduction strategies suggested should be followed only if these actions are considered reasonable and practical in the individual clinics. Therapists working with proton beam and neutron beam units handle treatment devices that do become radioactive, and they should wear extremity monitors and make handling apertures and boluses their last task upon entering the room following treatment. Personnel doses from neutron-beam units can approach regulatory limits depending on the number of patients and beams, and strategies to reduce doses should be followed.

X Demographics

X Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 10 X users who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.
Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 46 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 2 4%
Unknown 44 96%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 9 20%
Other 4 9%
Student > Ph. D. Student 4 9%
Professor > Associate Professor 4 9%
Student > Doctoral Student 3 7%
Other 8 17%
Unknown 14 30%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Physics and Astronomy 18 39%
Medicine and Dentistry 4 9%
Nursing and Health Professions 2 4%
Arts and Humanities 1 2%
Social Sciences 1 2%
Other 1 2%
Unknown 19 41%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 10. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 07 March 2023.
All research outputs
of 24,380,426 outputs
Outputs from Health Physics
of 2,345 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 265,570 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Health Physics
of 7 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 24,380,426 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 85th percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,345 research outputs from this source. They typically receive more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 9.4. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 93% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 265,570 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 85% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 7 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than 5 of them.